Rick Perry vs. the D.U.I. D.A. - Corruption at the Lowest Levels
I'm no fan of Texas governor Rick Perry. But as a resident of Austin, Texas, I am so outraged by the indictment against him that I'd be happy to pick up a placard and protest this insanity. Here's the story in a nutshell, in case you missed it:
- Last year, the Austin District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg (a Democrat) was caught driving the wrong way with an open bottle of vodka in her car. She was almost three times above the legal limit.
- Brought to jail, she became erratic and violent, and kept trying to abuse her position to be released.
- She then refused to resign.
- Only upon public calls for her head on a platter, did she arrange for a 45-day "harsh" sentence to somehow "prove" that she was contrite and fit to remain in office.
- The Democrats in Texas did not want her to resign because Perry could replace her with a Republican. So they have fought to keep her in office.
- Rick Perry then responded by demanding her resignation, and in the event that she did not, he would de-fund her office with a line-item veto (allowed by the Texas Constitution).
- This is apparently an "abuse of power" and he has now been indicted by a Travis County Grand Jury. (Austin, Texas is in Travis County, and Austin is the capital of Texas.) If D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg is the driving force (ahem) behind this indictment, she is an idiot. She is now going to suffer having her DUI videos resurface and become fodder for national debate. Real smart.
Local talk radio was all abuzz when the Lehmberg story initially came out. Almost universally, everyone wanted this woman fired. Granted, the talk radio in Austin skews towards the right, but I cannot remember one person defending this woman. No-one wants a D.A. who so wantonly flaunts the law - well, maybe a few, apparently.
What angered a lot of folks was that she refused to resign - and that she seemed fairly unrepentant of her actions. She acted she like a victim of everyone else.
So we complain a lot about corruption at the top, but what about corruption at the bottom? Clearly, the Travis County justice system has lost its impartiality and now runs based on partisan politics, and not what is good, fair, or right.
You might remember the old show "The Dukes of Hazzard." In it, the Duke boys were constantly on the run from the corrupt sheriff, Roscoe P. Coltraine, and the mayor, Boss Hogg. Boss Hogg had his fingers in every pie. He loved money, and he wanted more of it.
Funny. Boss Hogg's brand of corruption was fairly benign - TV's romanticized version of corruption. And you never actually saw Boss Hogg endangering lives through drunk driving - though of course, all the crazy driving around Hazzard County was probably not very wise either.
So the Austin District Attorney - let's call her "Bessy Hogg" - has decided that she's above the law, even as she is tasked with prosecuting and upholding the law.
There seems to be a conflict of interest here.
Consider the following points:
1) Just because you are a woman, doesn't mean you are going to be a kinder, gentler politician than a man. Let's stop with this stupid idea that if women run the world, it would be better. No, if women ran the world, they'd be the corrupt Bessy Hogg's of the world.
2) Once people put political party above laws, character and ethics, we have a recipe for a Banana Republic. I could not believe a lot of the comments I read on the Austin-American Statement cheering Perry's indictment. These folks could care less that their own District Attorney goes out and risks their lives on the road with her open bottles of vodka. Destroying Perry is more important to them.
3) As noted in Dinesh D'Souza's film "America," we have so many laws on the books now, that on any given day, each one of us probably commits a felony and doesn't even know it. At what point will the surveillance state make it extremely easy for Big Brother to target you personally because of your opposition to a government policy or an official? If you think these types of politically motivated prosecutions are just limited to the D'Souzas, Perrys and Scott Walkers of this world, think again.
The thing is, I'm not naive. I don't think Rick Perry is as clean as a whistle. If he should be investigated for anything, it should be those donations from Big Pharma that might have influenced his campaign to force young girls to take the HPV vaccine.
But what he did in regards to Bessy Hogg was 100% right in my book.
Unfortunately, some people who are completely blinded by partisan hatred will simply try to abuse the legal system in any way they can to gain power. I find this despicable. It takes political power from other people and imposes your will upon them. It destroys democracy.
Look, I don't want Rick Perry to be president, but I would never stop him from running. Let him run and let the voters decide.
You may have heard the saying "As above, so below." Some people have suggested that the lawlessness of the Obama administration has or will trickle down to the local levels, because if he flaunts the law, everyone will.
I disagree. I think the saying needs to be changed to: "As below, so above."
Our federal government isn't out of control and lawless because it has somehow imposed this on the people. On the contrary, a good section of "the people" have become out of control and lawless, and they are now demanding government officials who enact their agendas.
Dan Calabrese is a conservative columnist for Herman Cain's website. He's often very dismissive of libertarians, and I generally disagree with him. In fact, I disagree with a good portion of his article "Bill Bennett: This notion that marijuana isn't that harmful is just plain wrong." Yet, he wrote something in there that really made me stop and think about where our country is headed:
"There is also this: I do think American culture has changed in the sense that when lawlessness is rampant, we used to blame the lawbreakers. Now we are increasingly willing to blame the laws, figuring that if that many people are violating the law, it must not have enough public support to remain in place. I would suggest that in this case the problem is not the law but the denigration of culture such that people simply no longer care if what they're doing is legal or not - often to the point of self-destructive irrationality."
Wow. I really hope you think about what he said, no matter how much you might be bristling about his anti-marijuana position.
I do disagree with him that we should never "blame" or look at our laws. What I think is happening is that we have such a mix of ridiculous, overbearing laws (like those that restrict the size of a soda) along with laws that really should be followed (such as not driving while intoxicated), that people have started to pick and choose which laws should be followed or enforced.
When this selective enforcement is used for political payback, and that becomes the norm, or laws are flaunted at will, there can be only one of two results in the long run:
America, the Banana Republic
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